Taken from The New Hampshire Gazette 1817
History.—Under this head it will only be attempted to exhibit some of the principal outlines of the history of this state. It will be observed that many of the events in the following chronology belong to this state only as an integral member of the union.
This territory was discovered in 1614, by Capt. John Smith, and received the name of New-Hampshire from Capt. Mason, the original patentee.
1623—In the spring of this year, Edward and William Hilton, fishmongers from London, with some other persons landed at Little Harbour, but not being satisfied with that place, they erected their stage eight miles higher up the river toward the N. W. on a neck of land which the Indians called Newichawaunat, which name was changed by the English to Northam, and afterwards to Dover.
1624—In the month of March of this year, Mr. Edward Winslow arrived at Plymouth in New-England. He conveyed with him in his ship three heifers and a bull, which were the first neat cattle ever brought into this country.
1627—Mr. Allerton of the Plymouth company went to England to procure patent for a trading place on the Kennebec river, the planters at Piscataqua having threatened to obtain an exclusive patent for the same ground.
1629—Some of the planters who were scattered over Massachusetts, wishing to make a settlement in the neighbourhood of the Piscataqua, and imitating the example of those at Plymouth, who had purchased their lands of the Indians, (as they conscientiously thought this necessary to give them a just title) procured a general assembly of the Indians at Swamscot Falls, (now Exeter) where a deed was obtained from four Sycamores.
1631—The whole plantation of New-Hampshire was this year divided into two parts. •Capt. Thomas Wiggin was appointed agent for the upper and Capt. Walter Neal for the lower. The former of these divisions contained what is now called Dover, Durham, &c. and the latter contained Portsmouth, Rye, Newcastle, Newington, and a part of Greenland. A house was this year erected at Strawberry Bank, called the Great House. Humphrey Chadbourne had the care of the saw mills at the upper plantations : the descendants of this man are to the present day persons of considerable Rote.
The proprietors this year sent over from England several pieces of cannon which they directed their agents to mount at some place most convenient for a fort. They accordingly stationed them on the northwest point of the great island which lies at the mouth of the Piscataqua harbour, and laid out the ground about a ” bow shot” distance from the water side to a high rock, on which, it was contemplated to build the principal fort.
1632—During this year the coast was alarmed by reports of a pirate, one Dixy Bull, who with a company of fifteen, being employed in the Indian trade at the eastward, had taken several boats and dismantled the fort at Pemaquid : Capt. Neal, collecting a small band, equipped four pinnaces and shallops from the Piscataqua and manned them with forty men, which was all the force that could be spared from the plantations ; this fleet, after uniting with a barge containing twenty men from Boston, sailed for Pemaquid, but were forced by contrary winds and bad weather to return without meeting with the enemy. This was the first naval armament equipped from New-Hampshire. The pirates having proceeded further eastward, arrived afterwards in England, where Bull met with his just punishment.
1633—Neal and Wiggin joined in surveying their respective plantations, and in laying out the towns of Portsmouth and Northam, and another, which was afterwards called Hampton, although at this place no settlement had as yet been made.
1634—By this time Mason and Georges had become, either by purchase or common consent, the principal, if not the sole proprietors of this territory. These gentlemen, perceiving that as yet only five or six houses had been erected in both plantations, renewed their exertions and sent over a fresh supply of labourers and materials for carrying on the settlement. They appointed Francis Williams the FIRST GOVERNOR. He was a gentleman of sound sense and discretion, and ao acceptable to the people, that when they afterwards united in a body politic, they unanimously continued him their ruler. A meeting house was this year erected at Dover Neck, which was the first edifice of the kind in New-Hampshire.
1635—Sir Ferdinand Georges and Capt. Mason, having bestowed upon these settlements more pains and expense than the other members of the grand council of Plymouth, and seeing no prospect of any equivalent reward, fearing also from the great clamour in England against monopolies, that they should soon be forced to resign their charter, entered this year upon a new project, which was to procure a general governor for the whole territory of New-England, to be immediately sent over, and to have jurisdiction from St. Croix to Maryland. In this plan however they did not succeed.
1636—This year one Burdet who had been, a minister of Yarmouth in England, came over to Dover, and continued for some time in high estimation with the people, until by artful insinuations he excited such a jealousy against Wiggin, the governor of the place, that they deprived the latter of his office and elected Burdet in his stead, who was in reality, a vicious and profane man.
1637—Several eminently pious persons this year removed into this colony from Massachusetts. That religious persecution was the cause of their removal, is evident not only from Mrs. Hutchinson, but it appears from other public proceedings, that inquisition had been enforced over their private opinions as well as over their declarations and conduct, Toleration in rulers, had been preached against as a sin, which would bring down the judgments of heaven upon the land.
1638—This year John Wheelwright commenced his settlement at Exeter. His followers immediately formed themselves into a church, and decreeing themselves beyond the jurisdiction of- Massachusetts, they formed a separate political body, and made choice of Nicholas Needham, Isaac Grosse, and Thomas Wilson as their rulers for the first year. The laws were enacted by a popular assembly and formally sanctioned by the rulers. Treason against the country or the king, (who was styled the Lord’s-anointed !) were made capital crimes, and sedition was punished by a fine of ten pounds. This association lasted about three years. At this time a settlement was formed at Winnecumet, which was afterwards called Hampton. The first house in this place was built by Nicholas Easton, and was called the bound-house, (See Hampton) Nicholas Easton afterwards removed to Rhode-Island, and ereoted the first house in Newport. Oxen were at this time sold at Hampton for twenty-five pounds sterling per head. This year was made memorable by a remarkable earthquake, which happened on the 2d day of June. Its approach was announced by a low rumbling noise, similar to that of distant thunder. Its passage was from the northward to the eastward. As the sound increased, the earth began to shake so violently as to drive people from th( houses, nor could they stand without supporting themselves by posts and fences. About half an hour after this, anothershock commenced, was not so violent as the first, which was felt even a great distance at sea.
1639—This year Capt. John Underhill’ was made governor at Dover. As soon as he was fixed in authority, he proceeded to gather a church, over which Hanserd Knolleys was appointed minister. He was a baptist of the antinomian order, and like the governor his patron, was a man of bad character. Before the end of the year, Underhill was displaced and one Roberts was appointed in his stead.
1640—During this year the troubles at Dover increased. One Larkeham, a native of Lime in England, and formerly minister at Barnstead, came over ; possessing good talents as a preacher, he eclipsed Knolleys and was chosen in his place. On this occasion a council was called, composed of Simon Broadstreet, Esq. of Boston, the celebrated Hugh Peters minister of Salem, and Timothy Dalton, minister of Hampton. They travelled on foot to Dover but did not succeed in effecting a permanent arrangement. Underhill, Knolleys, and Larkeham removed out of the colony. During all this period the people of Portsmouth, Dover, &c. had no right of self government delegated from the British crown, but finding the necessity of some more determinate form than they had as yet enjoyed, they combined themselves in separate bodies politic, after the example of their neighbours at Exeter. The inhabitants of Dover, by a written instrument, subscribed by forty persons, agreed to submit to the laws of England and to such other regulations as should be formed by a majority of their number, until the pleasure of the king should be known. The date of a similar association at Portsmouth is not known.
Mr. Hutchinson supposed the whole number of neat cattle in the colony of Massachusetts in 1640, to be 12,000, and the sheep about 4000, and he says, that ” a cow, sold two years ago for 301. may now be purchased for 5 or 61.” It is probable that there were in New-Hampshire at this time, about 1200 neat cattle and 300 sheep.
1641—At this tinle, all the settlements by a voluntary act submitted to Massachusetts and were comprehended in the county of Norfolk, which extended from the Merrimack to the Piscataqua. By a subsequent order, a very extraordinary concession was made to the towns of Portsmouth and Dover,
which indicated a strong anxiety on the part of the government to retain these towns under their control. The test, which had been established by law, was dispensed with in their favour. Their freemen were allowed to vote in town affairs, and their deputies to sit in the general court, although they were not church members. (Sept. 28th.)
1643—About this time, several persons at Boston were whipped, fined and banished for the crime of what was then called heresy. In this year also, Boston castle was built. The church at Boston refused the church at Exeter the privilege of settling a minister. Mr. Belknap remarks, that this stretch of power, which would now be regarded ‘as an infringement of christian liberty, was then agreeable to most of the fathers of New-England.
1645—An union having now been formed between the set-dements on the Piscataqua and the colony of Massachusetts, their history for the succeeding forty years is of course in a great measure identified. In the year 1646, Mr. Winthrop was chosen governor, and Mr. Dudley, lieutenant governor. In 1647, an epidemic sickness passed through the continent. English, French, Dutch, and Indians were indiscriminately the victims of it. It was attended with a slight fever. Those, who resorted to bleeding or who used cooling medicines generally died. Its ravages extended to the West-Indies, where 5 or 6000 were destroyed by it. A similar contagion has passed over the country at several successive periods.
1648—This year, Rhode-Island requested admission into the New-England confederacy, but she was not received.
The first instance of an execution for witchcraft, was in June, 1748. Margaret Jones of Charlestown, was indicted as a witch, condemned and hung. She was charged with having such a malignant touch, that if she laid her hands upon any person in anger, the person was immediately seized with deafness, vomiting or some other violent affection. After the execution of this woman, her husband took passage for Barba-does in a ship which was well ballasted, and which had eighty horses on board. The vessel happening to roll on a sudden, in an alarming manner, an officer was ordered to apprehend this man and put him in confinement ; the ship was then said to roll no more. Such was the wonderful credulity and infatuation of that day. Happy would it have been for New-England if this had been the only specimen of those follies.
1649—Early in this year died Gov. Winthrop, one of the fathers of New-England. He was succeeded by Endicot. Mr. Dudley remained deputy governor. It is asserted by some writers, that when Gov. Winthrop was on his death-bed, he was solicited by Mr. Dudley to sign a warrant for the banishment of one of those persons then called heretics. Winthrop refused, and observed that ” he had done too mach of that work already.”
In every age, many actions indifferent in their nature, have been regarded as sinful and been classed among the greatest enormities. The text in the Apostle’s epistle to the Corinthians against wearing long hair, led our ancestors to suppose that this of course must be a sin in all ages and nations. They treated long hair therefore as one of the enormities.
It is wonderful, that a certain text in Leviticus, ” ye shall not round the corners of your head,” was never urged the custom of short hair. It was the regulation at this period in New-England, that the hair should not be worn below the ears. This regulation was enforced with peculiar rigour upon clergymen. They were especially required to appear, “paten-tibus auribus.” A few years before this, the use of tobacco was prohibited by a heavy penalty. Some of the writers of that day compare the smoke of it to the smoke of the bottomless pit. Some of the clergymen however, yielded to the sin of smoking, and tobacco was accordingly set at liberty by an act of the legislature. Beards as well as wigs were also prohibited by authority.
1650—Capt. Wiggins and Edward Gibbens were added to the council, and •Mr. Endicot was chosen governor for the years 1651-3, and Mr. Dudley, lieutenant governor. It was in this year, that the new District of Maine fell into the jurisdiction of Massachusetts.
1652—This year a mint was established in Boston for coining shillings, six-pences, and three-pences. The first pieces being struck in 1652, the same date was continued upon all money for thirty years after. The court ordered, that all the coins should have a double ring, with the inscription of the word ” Massachusetts,” with a tree in the centre on one side, and New-England and the date of the year on the other. No other colony in this country ever presumed to coexist money.
1656—Ii this year, began, what is generally and properly termed, the persecution of the quakers. A fine of ten pounds was inflicted on any person, who harboured a quaker. In October of this year, eleven of the sect, received sentence of banishment ; and the mister of the ship) which brought them from England, was required to bind himself with sureties to the amount of 5001. to carry them all out of the country. (See Hutch. Vol. .I p. 97.) Mr. Hutchinson observes, that ” he could not find what law they had for this.”
In this month also, an act passed imposing a fine of 100/. upon any master of a vessel, who should bring a quaker into the colony, and that if a quaker should arrive, he should be immediately sent to the house of correction, receive twenty stripes, and be confined to hard labour until he could be transported. At the next session, an act passed, by which all persons were liable to a fine of forty shillings for harbouring a quaker one hour. After the first conviction under this act, the offender, if a man, was to lose one ear, and upon the third conviction, the other ; if a woman, she was for each offence to be whipped, and upon the fourth conviction, the offender, whether man or woman was to have the tongue bored through with a hot iron. In May, 1658, a penalty was inflicted upon every person, who should attend a quaker meeting. Under this act, a child only eleven years old, by the name of Patience Scott, was tried and imprisoned. The imprisonment of such a child was as strange as any further severity would have been horrible.
1660—Two quakers, by the names of William Robertson and Marmaduke Stevenson, were executed on the 27th of October. Several persons were fined to the amount of 101. for entertaining quakers at their houses, and one man, of the name of Wharton, for pilotting them from one port to another, was ordered to receive twenty stripes. Several others were executed, banished or whipped. Bishop says, ” they cut off the ears of Holden, Capeland, and Rouse in prison, and that others were whipped and banished upon pain of death.”
In this inquisitorial persecution, the clergy were the most active. The sufferings of the victims excited the compassion of the people, many of whom resorted to the prisons by day and night, so that the keepers were forced to establish a constant guard to restrain them. Wendlock Christopherson among others was sentenced to die. This man implored the court to consider, whether they gained any thing by the persecution. For the last man, said he, that was put to death, five rose up in his stead ; and although you have power to take my life, G,od can inspire the same principles into ten more of his servazts and send them among you, that you may have torment upon torment: This man was executed June 13th, 1660. Some of his persecuted companions were tried at Hampton. May those unhappy days never return, when men suppose they are doing God service by sporting with the lives of his children.
1662—On the 26th of January of this year, there were two shocks of an earthquake, and on the 28th a third.
1664—The people of New-England were this year alarmed by the appearance of a very large comet, which continuedfrom the 17th of November, to the 4th of February. When it first appeared in the east it was without its tail. This appendage however became visible when the comet was in the west.
1665—The first persecution of the anabaptists, found on record, was in 1665. William Turner, Thomas Gould, Edward Drinker, and several others were accused before the governor and magistrates of the crime of ” gathering themselves into the form of a church, in opposition to the church of Christ established in the colony, and with intermeddling with those holy appointments of the Lord Jesus, which belong only to office trust.” Several of these men were afterwards imprisoned and banished. In this case, like all others, the severity against the sect made new converts to it, and it was therefore thought expedient to desist from the persecution. These were not the first appearances of antipedo-baptism in the colony. Mr. Dunstan, the president of the college joined that profession, and was on that account expelled from his office. Mr. Chaney his successor believed in the necessity of immersion. In Mr. Hooker’s time it appeared that the doctrine was gaining ground, and he expresses his belief that the converts to it would increase in number.
1666—In the course of this year the small-pox made its appearance in the colony.
The commissioners, sent over this year by the Xing prevailed on some of the people of New-Hampshire to sign a petition and complaint to his ,majesty of the wrongs they had suffered from Massachusetts in the usurpation of government, which that state had exercised over them. The inhabitants however, of Dover, Portsmouth, and Exeter, .assembled in their- town meetings, rejected this proposal and expressed their wish to be continued as they had been for many years, a part of Massachusetts colony.
1669—New-Hampshire had now remained in a quiet and peaceable condition ever since the year 1641, and were heartily united in all their civil and religious concerns,. with their sister colony.
1675—In September of this year the Indians made their first predatory incursion against New-Hampshire. They attacked the plantations on Piscataqua river, now constituting Durham, and hero killed two men: This species of hostility continued till the year 1678, when a treaty. was made with Squando and other chiefs at Durham. (For particulars of this war see Durham.)